The Role of Facial Features in the Identity and the Personality of Comics Characters: A Case Study of Shonen Manga
|關鍵字:||少年漫畫;臉孔特徵;圖像化人臉;身分辨識;性格類型;邁爾斯-布里格斯性格分類指標;Shonen manga;Facial features;Pictorial human face;Identity judgment;Personality type;Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)|
|摘要:||本研究以人臉材料為主題，探討漫畫這種「圖像表徵」（pictorial representation）相較於「真實物件」（real object）對於觀者之心理效果差異，亦即了解人們在閱讀過程中究竟是如何透過漫畫人物的臉孔特徵來認識角色，以及臉孔特徵可承載多少角色的個性訊息。這類資訊對於創作者在進行角色相貌與性格的設定時，可提供非常具體且實用的參考依據。研究共分為兩部分：「角色身分識別研究」，探討臉孔特徵對漫畫人物身分辨識之影響；以及「角色性格印象研究」，探討臉孔特徵對於角色個性之暗示效果。
This study explored how readers are psychologically affected by the pictorial representation of human faces in comic books, as compared to the real faces. We studied how readers form impressions of comics characters and to what extent personality data can be conveyed through facial features. Our findings provide comics creators with specific, practical reference data in developing the appearances and personalities of their characters. The study is divided into two parts: We first discuss how readers identify characters based on their facial features and then explore the personality implications of these features. We researched how readers identify the faces of comics characters and compared our findings with previous studies on human facial recognition. We found that difficulty in identifying character roles has an enormous impact on the ability of participants to understand the plot and become absorbed in the story. Participants experiencing such difficulties complained that the book was tedious and in some cases even refused to read it. When attempting to identify characters, participants compared differences in facial features among different comics characters, rather than seeking consistency of facial features in the same character appearing in different frames. The eyes and mouth were key indicators when participants used only internal facial features to identify the characters. The greater the differences between the eyes and mouth, the more easily participants were able to make an accurate identification. Eyebrows played a particularly unique role. According to subjective reports from participants, eyebrows are the second-most important facial feature, surpassed only by the eyes. However, experimental findings showed that eyebrows did not affect role identification. Previous studies on human facial recognition have found that the nose is the third-most important physical feature, outranked by the eyes and mouth. When identifying comics characters however, participants did not consider the nose to be a significant feature. This was echoed by experimental findings which showed that the nose did not affect the accuracy of role identification. When the nose was eliminated from illustrations, however, the reaction time required to identify characters was significantly reduced. Even more surprisingly, participants referred to several nose-related parameters when making judgments of personality based on first impressions. Before reading the story, participants often made judgments about the personalities of characters based on their facial features, and considered themselves capable of physiognomic interpretation. This indicates that at the start of reading a new comic book, most readers mentally build personality models for characters and interpret their dialogue and actions based on these models. We also found that, based on their first impressions, participants tended to classify characters as either type ISTJ or type ENFP (two of the 16 MBTI types). These appearance-based judgments were generally determined by eye and nose parameters: the height of the eyes, iris area, the distance from the nasal corner of the eye to the lower edge of the nose (N-L distance), and the length and area of the nose were all important elements in the judgment of personality based on first impressions. These features were all significantly correlated with the four MBTI dimensions. Characters with smaller height of the eyes, smaller eye and iris areas, greater N-L distance, longer noses and larger nose areas tended to be classified as ISTJ personality types. Characters with features on the opposite end of the scale, however, were more commonly classed as ENFP types. These two personality types were also shown to be highly differentiable, as both participants and experts produced highly consistent results when evaluating these personalities.